Coping Patterns and Health Outcomes among Minority Women Living with HIV
HIV/AIDS is currently a worldwide epidemic that is driven by poverty, marginalization, stigma, social apathy, and lack of political will. Women represent a growing proportion of the population infected with HIV/AIDS; Black and Latina women are disproportionately affected. The magnitude of HIV/AIDS is significant to public health in terms of morbidity, mortality, and the costs associated with medical management and prevention. The theoretical frameworks used in this research study were stress and coping (The General Adaptation Syndrome) and the instruments were the Ways of Coping Questionnaire and the Perceived Stress Scale. The purpose of this study was to test 8 different coping patterns to determine their relationships to CD4 count, viral load, and HAART medication adherence in minority women who live with HIV. The hypotheses for the research study were tested utilizing multiple regression, multiple logistic regression, and analysis of variance. There was no relationship found between the coping patterns and viral loads, CD4 counts, and HAART adherence. HIV-positive Latina women on average reported lower positive reappraisal coping than did HIV-positive Black women. The findings provide little to no evidence that any type of coping pattern affects positive health outcomes in Black or Latina women living with HIV/AIDS; therefore, healthcare providers should look to other taxonomies of behavioral coping patterns to determine if there truly is no connection between coping styles and physiological health outcomes. Future research should investigate if other minorities of women differ in their use of positive reappraisal coping levels, and whether those minorities' use of positive reappraisal or other coping styles affect their health outcomes.